10.11.2011 - Education Sector

Managing teacher migration in emergencies

© UNESCO/Petterik Wiggers- Children are coming from all over Ethiopia to attend the Menelik School.

“UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA) and the Commonwealth Secretariat have published a research article on “Managing Forced Teacher Migration in Education in Emergencies”.

Qualified, experienced teachers tend to be significantly under-represented in forced migrant populations. Often, they are replaced by members of the displaced community given minimal training. This can have an adverse effect on the quality of education, as well as the access to and inclusiveness of it. Institutions can either erect barriers or facilitate access to meaningful employment opportunities for teachers forced to cross borders.

The paper examines the connections between the issues forced migrant teachers face, the protection of their rights, and the contribution they are able to make towards increasing access to and the quality of education in emergencies.  To exemplify how these issues play out on the ground, the paper describes a case study of Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

Following a review of how the learning from the application of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol might be applied to efforts to improve institutional frameworks for the management of teachers in emergencies, the paper concludes with recommendations for policy-makers aimed at protecting the professional role and status of teachers forced to migrate and enhancing their ability to operate constructively in emergency conditions.

The paper was originally presented at the 11UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development in Oxford on 13 September 2011, and will be published in the New Year. It may be consulted online on the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)’s resource database and on the INEE's Academic Space, under Papers.

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